And This Year's Best International Stock Is ...

With the U.S. economy on the rocks, savvy investors are looking for refuge among fast-growing foreign markets. We took you on a trip around the world in 80 sentences to find the best-performing international companies.

Then, we invited you to participate in our Motley Fool CAPS community and voice your opinions on the best international stocks. Now the votes are in, and we're ready to declare a global winner for 2008.

Falling a little bit short
The competition was fierce. While there were two clear leaders, several companies battled for the bronze. Mexican wireless provider America Movil (NYSE: AMX  ) presented an impressive combination of Latin American growth opportunities and attractive valuations. MercadoLibre (Nasdaq: MELI  ) , Argentina's answer to eBay, may cost a pretty penny -- but the company has investors hoping to turn back the clock to 1998 to get a second chance at a Latin American Internet boom.

By a nose, third place goes to Chinese search engine Baidu.com (Nasdaq: BIDU  ) . Despite some concerns about Google's (Nasdaq: GOOG  ) recent earnings shortfall, the future still looks bright across the Pacific. And like Google, Baidu is branching out beyond its search business, looking to open an auction site and taking on the challenging Japanese market.

Feasting on success
Our second-place finisher is a classic defensive play. With Brazil's skyrocketing stock market making investors nervous, Sadia (NYSE: SDA  ) is a natural place to look for cover. Food processing and distribution are just about the most recession-proof industries you can find, so even if a U.S. slowdown brings the rest of the world down with it, Sadia shouldn't suffer as much as more economically sensitive stocks, like Petrobras (NYSE: PBR  ) .

But based on the company's actions, Sadia doesn't see a global recession in the cards. It's ramping up its production capacity around the world. It hopes to increase exports of its name-brand processed foods, in order to build customer loyalty and brand recognition. And a recent drop in its share price has investors salivating like pork lovers at a luau.

Building a winning foundation
In the end, though, our readers wanted something a little more solid than just a good meal. Looking south of the border, investors overwhelmingly chose Mexican cement-maker Cemex (NYSE: CX  ) as the best international stock of 2008. It may not dig up diamonds or mine gold, but Cemex has been turning rocks into cash throughout the world, responding to the global construction boom by taking advantage of high demand for building materials.

After taking top prize in our Black Friday Bargain Stock contest last Thanksgiving, Cemex has kept up the momentum. And even though winning analyst Anand Chokkavelu is under no illusions that the company's high growth can continue indefinitely, he does think that Cemex will keep profiting from strong economies -- wherever they may be. Combined with an attractive stock price, that was enough to convince readers to give Cemex the top spot.

The game never ends
Even if your favorite stock didn't make it to the winner's circle, that doesn't mean you won't be a winner. Keep tabs on your stock picks on Motley Fool CAPS and find out what more than 83,000 other investors think about companies both close to home and across the globe.

And for more on stocks in the U.S., be sure to check out our Best Stocks for 2008 series. You can also find out what companies to avoid by reading the entries for the Worst Stocks for 2008.


Read/Post Comments (0) | Recommend This Article (31)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

Be the first one to comment on this article.

Sponsored Links

Leaked: Apple's Next Smart Device
(Warning, it may shock you)
The secret is out... experts are predicting 458 million of these types of devices will be sold per year. 1 hyper-growth company stands to rake in maximum profit - and it's NOT Apple. Show me Apple's new smart gizmo!

DocumentId: 574611, ~/Articles/ArticleHandler.aspx, 10/1/2014 10:38:13 PM

Report This Comment

Use this area to report a comment that you believe is in violation of the community guidelines. Our team will review the entry and take any appropriate action.

Sending report...

Today's Market

updated 1 hour ago Sponsored by:
DOW 16,804.71 -238.19 -1.40%
S&P 500 1,946.16 -26.13 -1.32%
NASD 4,422.09 -71.31 -1.59%

Create My Watchlist

Go to My Watchlist

You don't seem to be following any stocks yet!

Better investing starts with a watchlist. Now you can create a personalized watchlist and get immediate access to the personalized information you need to make successful investing decisions.

Data delayed up to 5 minutes

Related Tickers

10/1/2014 4:00 PM
CX $12.73 Down -0.31 -2.38%
Cemex CAPS Rating: ***
AMX $24.53 Down -0.67 -2.66%
America Movil CAPS Rating: ***
BIDU $212.03 Down -6.20 -2.84%
Baidu CAPS Rating: ****
GOOGL $579.63 Down -8.78 -1.49%
Google (A shares) CAPS Rating: ****
PBR $13.30 Down -0.89 -6.27%
Petroleo Brasileir… CAPS Rating: ***
SDA $15.15 Down -0.13 -0.85%
Sadia S.A. (ADR) CAPS Rating: *****

Advertisement